Fulfilling its promise to protect retirement savers, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Monday that it has launched a multiyear targeted review of investment advisors' and broker-dealers' retirement planning sales practices.

The SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examination's Retirement-Targeted Industry Reviews and Examinations (ReTIRE) Initiative will zero in on "higher-risk areas" of registrants' sales, investment and oversight processes, with particular emphasis on select areas where retail investors saving for retirement "may be harmed," the agency said.

Agency staff, the SEC said in its risk alert, intends to use data analytics, information from prior exams, and examiner-driven due diligence to identify registrants to probe under the initiative.  

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Melanie Waddell

Melanie is senior editor and Washington bureau chief of ThinkAdvisor. Her ThinkAdvisor coverage zeros in on how politics, policy, legislation and regulations affect the investment advisory space. Melanie’s coverage has been cited in various lawmakers’ reports, letters and bills, and in the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule in 2024. In 2019, Melanie received an Honorable Mention, Range of Work by a Single Author award from @Folio. Melanie joined Investment Advisor magazine as New York bureau chief in 2000. She has been a columnist since 2002. She started her career in Washington in 1994, covering financial issues at American Banker. Since 1997, Melanie has been covering investment-related issues, holding senior editorial positions at American Banker publications in both Washington and New York. Briefly, she was content chief for Internet Capital Group’s EFinancialWorld in New York and wrote freelance articles for Institutional Investor. Melanie holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Towson University. She interned at The Baltimore Sun and its suburban edition.